One of the saddest passages in scripture occurs during the children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. “Now the rabble who were among them had greedy cravings; and the sons of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat for free in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna!’” (Numbers 11:4-6).
You remember the setting. The Israelites had become slaves in Egypt, harshly treated, and their male children put to death at birth. They cried out to the Lord, and He sent them a deliverer, Moses. Moses was used of God to miraculously lead them out of bondage and through the Red Sea, destroying their enemies and even providing a financial blessing for them as they left. The Lord is now guiding them through the wilderness with a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
Now, God brings a time of testing and teaching. First, they’re short of water and when they find some, it’s bitter. The Lord directs Moses to throw a certain tree into the water and it becomes sweet. Then, they’re short of food and God provides a totally unknown but nourishing food called “manna”. He gives specific instructions as to how to receive these provisions and as they obey, they are blessed. (Exodus15:22-25, 16:1-7).
Sadly, after all of God’s wonderful blessings, the “rabble” among them begin to grumble, and the others follow. Forgetting how things really were as slaves in Egypt, they begin to crave the supposed “benefits” of their captivity. They forgot all the Lord had done for them and focused on their present discomfort.
How about us? Do we sometimes forget our deliverance from lives as slaves to sin, bound for hell, and wandering without true meaning and direction in life? Do we begin to fantasize over the temporary pleasures of our old sinful life, grumbling against our wonderful Lord who has redeemed us and given us new and eternal life? Please join me in asking the Lord for an “Attitude of Gratitude”, one that praises Him in every circumstance, trusting Him to cause “all things to work together for our good”?
October Happenings: Upon returning from our ministry trip to MS and TX, Melva and I focused on catching up on the home front. Our Saturday Night Services continue strong and we restarted our West Elk Bible Institute with 4 students studying basic Christian theology. Several of us helped cut and split firewood for others and now we’re busy planning Thanksgiving meals and Christmas presents for those less fortunate. Melva and I made a quick trip to San Francisco to visit Melva’s godly cousin who had a stroke. Then we travelled to Grand Junction to be with an alumni who is fighting stage 4 cancer. We had wonderful times of sharing testimonies, singing and prayer. The next morning, we met with friends and supporters for breakfast. We also had the privilege of sharing with a new church being established in Gunnison. The Lord is stirring embers of revival, please pray they will burst into flames!
Upcoming:Lord willing, this weekend we speak at Norwood Christian Church in Norwood CO. Due to a miscommunication, we won’t be doing a Bible Conference in Guthrie OK this fall ☹ but are looking forward to services there next spring😊. I start my 54th season of teaching skiing Thanksgiving week. Thank you for your prayers as I share the Lord on the mountain. And of Course, Pray and Vote!
Calling everyone in the Ft Collins CO area! Monday November 14th: We’re going to be in Loveland for a ministry dinner at Perkins Restaurant-2222 W. Eisenhower Blvd-5 PM. We know it’s short notice, but the date opened up and we miss all of you! Please join us for dinner, fellowship, and ministry update.
Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes: Our Saturday Night Worship group has packed almost 100 shoe boxes for children around the world. Our daughter Joy in London led their church’s efforts. She told of a woman who helped pack the shoeboxes. As a child the woman’s family lived in poverty in another country. The shoe box was her only present besides a chocolate bar and tangerine. She cherished it and kept the box year-round! “Alumni” Rich and Jeanette led the project for their new church home in KS. Melva and I often think of how each shoe box, with a gospel book inside, is changing lives for eternity!
Pray Warrior Alert: Almost every week we hear from someone who tells us they pray for us daily. THANK YOU!! As a lady from the Gideon’s Auxiliary once told me, “We stay on our knees so the men can stay on their feet”. Your prayers sustain and empower us so much! Please pray for Mike Miller with stage 4 cancer, for Nate Cranor with serious medical issues, and their families. Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon Melva and I as we share locally and elsewhere.
Finances: By God’s grace and your prayerful investment, ministry finances remain strong. May the Lord Jesus richly provide all your needs according to His riches in glory! (Philippians 4:10-19)
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving! Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires